Froome targeting Tour-Olympics double
Chris Froome has grand ambitions of an Olympic gold and a third Tour de France crown this year after committing his future to Team Sky.
The two-time Tour winner announced yesterday he will extend his deal until the end of 2018, adding two years to his existing deal, then outlined an ambitious plan for 2016.
While a third Tour crown is his priority, the 30-year-old has been to Brazil for an Olympic recce and believes the challenging, climbing-heavy courses in Rio de Janeiro for both the 260km road race and 59.6km individual time trial suit his strengths.
"When I rode Rio and looked at the time trial course, I thought, 'This is fantastic, I'd love the chance to get stuck into this time trial'. Then I went and rode the road course the next day and just felt, 'If there's a one-day course I could win, it would look something like this'."
Pursuing the dream will not be so straightforward. The Olympic road race takes place on August 6, 13 days after the Tour finishes in Paris, with the time trial on August 10.
Froome acknowledged he will face a battle to secure Britain's only place in the time trial, while the Kenyan-born rider described the challenge of winning the road race as "complicated".
"Teams of a maximum of five riders...260 kilometres... you can't rely on too much teamwork with four team-mates," he said. "With that amount of climbing, it's almost every man for himself."
Froome won bronze in the Olympic time trial won by Bradley Wiggins in London in 2012, just 10 days after he finished runner-up to Wiggins in the Tour, and the experience has left him hungry for more.
"It felt massive even on the back of the Tour we'd had," he said.
"It felt enormous. You almost can't believe how overwhelming the Olympics are, bigger than just your sport."